The brain is a little like an engine, it deteriorates more rapidly through lack of use than regular use. There is nothing wrong with taking a bit of time out to simply sit and think, in fact this mild form of meditation is to be encouraged in our fast-moving world of hustle and bustle, but there is also a requirement for puzzles and educational toys that arouse the brain while still being quiet.
Puzzles and educational toys can actually be divided into two age groups – generally speaking: adult and children’s games, although just where you draw the line between these age groups depends on the ability of the child. A bright child can start playing chess at eight, nine or ten, whereas that same child might not have a strong enough vocabulary to do crosswords until it is a teenager.
So, if you want to provide adequate stimulation for a child, you could start off with baby Lego and keep adding to the set until the child finds it no longer stimulating (that is, no longer interesting) which could easily take ten years. There is also Meccano, which is for a somewhat older age group than Lego, but overlaps quite significantly. Interest in Meccano could also last ten years.
Meanwhile, you could introduce draughts (checkers) and chess. You will have to work out whether Chess is too much for your child at the moment, in which case you can carry on with draughts and reintroduce Chess a year later. As the child becomes a teenager, the line blurs and teenagers might prefer adult games to children’s games.
Adult puzzles and educational toys are fairly varied. Most hobbies could be called educational in some way or another, although for the purpose of this piece, I will stick with adult puzzles and educational toys that can be played sitting down, say on a normal journey into work or during the lunch break.
There is the Rubik Cube and many variations on the theme. Plenty of individuals find that struggling to solve the Rubik Cube when struggling with a problem, assists them solve the problem. Some say that this works by diversion.
Crossword puzzles are good for distraction and will help keep words that you do not use frequently on the tip of your tongue. Some people say that you ought not not look words up, but I disagree. If you look a word up in the dictionary a few of times, you will remember it and that has to do you some good.
Sudoku is a numbers game which is also played in a square like a crossword puzzle. Sudoku puzzles are rated on difficulty from one to five. One is too easy, whilst five is very hard. They take a certain amount of lateral thinking and deduction to solve. They are very good because like a crossword, you can pick them up for ten minutes and put them down again.
If you like Chess or Bridge, these puzzles are also very useful for improving your game or simply helping you to maintain a level of skill if you do not play so much any more. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Chess and Bridge puzzles can all be discovered in many of the quality newspapers, so you can keep up with the news and stimulate your mind with puzzles and educational toys at the same time by purchasing a decent newspaper.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the remote control-gas-car. If you have an interest in model or toy rc vehicles, please go over to our website now at 1/5 Scale RC Cars